Homework done for Flames heading into Philadelphia
CALGARY, AB -- Admittedly, the strong majority of the heavy lifting by Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames scouting staff has been done in advance of their arrival to Philadelphia.
But, as Treliving will attest to, scouts will always find something to debate heading into the 2014 NHL Draft.
“We’re pretty close. We’ll meet (in Philadelphia),” Treliving said. “It’s funny when you get all the scouts together, it’s reason to debate, but I think our list is pretty firm. We’ll get in there and find reasons to argue with each other. A lot of it is getting into later rounds, but again scenarios and groupings. You’re going in there and preparing for everything so when Friday or Saturday the phone rings, you can’t be ‘I never thought of that.
“You’re doing a lot of scenarios, you’re playing out every scenario. Now, it’s working the phones to see what we may be able to do.”
The Flames currently hold the fourth overall pick heading into Philadelphia. Whether or not that’s how Calgary’s first round shakes down remains to be seen.
With plenty of assets and options, the Flames GM could try to improve that standing and move into the top-3. He could also take the opposite route and drop down. He could look at adding another selection in the top-30, too.
All options are easier said than done, which has Treliving focused, at least for now, on the No. 4 pick.
And he’s done the homework.
“In my mind, there are nine different scenarios in how the first four could go,” Treliving said. “Obviously that comes into play whether somebody moves the picks or so on and so forth. We’re prepared for every scenario. It’s an interesting time because very seldom, first of all, do you get such a lack of consensus. If there’s no moves who is No. 1?
“Secondarily, not very often does the team holding the first pick openly talk about the potential of it moving. Those are a couple different dynamics, but whoever is there at four, we’ll have a nameplate and a jersey all ready for them.”
Which jerseys will Treliving bring to Philadelphia stitched and ready?
The consensus suggests defenceman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts and centres Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, Sam Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs and Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders could be contenders.
The likes of Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals and Nick Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes may be options, too.
Again, Treliving has put in the work on No. 4.
“I feel very comfortable with the homework that’s been done,” he said. “As much work as you put into it, there’s some risk always, but I feel very confident going in that the work’s been done, the preparation’s been done. Now we get into Philadelphia and see how things flow.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in the last several weeks with a number of the young men, both at their place and we’ve brought in a number of players.
“We’ve poked, we’ve prodded and as we’ve told them, this process isn’t created to make them uncomfortable but these are very, very important decisions.